The number of Russian citizens entering Georgia started to decrease after Sept. 21, when Russia declared partial mobilization in the country, the Georgian Interior Ministry said on Friday.
“The inflow of passengers at the border crossing point ‘Dariali’ has decreased significantly,” the ministry stressed in a written statement.
“In addition to the mentioned, the number of Russian citizens crossing Georgian state border has also decreased at all border checkpoints in the country,” the statement mentioned.
As many as 9,642 Russians came to Georgia on Sept. 28-29, and 5,448 of those later left the country, the ministry said.
Some “6,109 citizens from the Russian Federation crossed the Georgian state border in total from all border checkpoints, whereas 5,186 Russian citizens left the territory of the country.”
“It’s notable that, the movement of trucks and light vehicles at the border checkpoint ‘Dariali’ returned to the regular regime, as a result of which the transit traffic flow, disrupted in recent days, was fully restored,” it added.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization, calling up to 300,000 reservists for deployment to Ukraine, a move seen as an escalation in the war that began in February.
Georgian authorities have since taken additional security measures at the Kazbegi border crossing.
Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri told reporters on Tuesday that the number of Russian citizens entering Georgia from its northern neighbor has increased by 40-45% over the past week.
Some opposition leaders have objected to the influx, citing Russia’s occupation of parts of the country, and some parties planned to stage a demonstration on the Russian-Georgian border on Wednesday.
In 2008, a five-day conflict referred to as the South Ossetia conflict broke out between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Tbilisi ultimately lost control of both areas and Russia later recognized them as independent states.
In response, Georgia cut off diplomatic relations with Russia, after which Switzerland took up the role of the mediator country.
Both regions remain internationally recognized Georgian territories.